Two Armenian referees banned for life for attempted match-fixing

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Armenian referee Andranik Arsenyan and assistant referee Hovhannes Avagyan received lifetime bans from the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday. The federation charged them with “[attempting] to manipulate the outcome” of a Europa League match.

In a hearing with the executive committee of the Football Federation of Armenia in July, the officials admitted trying to influence the final result of the July 11 second leg between FC Inter Turku of Finland and Víkingur of the Faroe Islands. The match finished 1-0 in favor of Viíkingur, after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

After the initial hearing with the Armenian body, UEFA handed down a provisional suspension Aug. 7, pending investigation by the Control and Disciplinary Body. On Thursday, the lifetime ban was announced.

In the announcement, UEFA said it used its betting fraud detection system to detect “suspicious betting patterns” surrounding the match, which prompted a joint investigation between UEFA and the Football Federation of Armenia. According to UEFA, its system “monitors over 32,000 matches across Europe, including all first and second-division games, cup ties and UEFA competition fixtures.”

The multi-body cooperative effort that resulted in the decision against Arsenyan and Avagyan spanned the continent.

“UEFA is pleased with the excellent cooperation of the FFA, the local authorities and the betting operators during the investigation process,” the governing body said.